Frustration as East Cork Waits 2 Years for 90 Affordable Homes

By Seamus Whelehan


A Government plan to make a meaningful difference to the affordable housing supply in Cork County has been criticised by a number of Cork County Councillors.
A cross section of public representatives said the Government must stop gaslighting the nation and press forward in delivering housing for those on a modest income.
In August Housing Minister, Eoughan Murphy, announced that 1,770 affordable housing units would be built on 25 sites nationally under the Serviced Sites Fund.
Cork County Council has received provisional approval to deliver 250 units under the Scheme at six locations across the County.
Under a funding model to be agreed with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Local Authority has been given the initial approval for 44 units in Broomfield, and 45 units in Abbeywood Midleton.
In Kinsale the Authority is promised monies to commence 50 units in Commogue, 17 units in Clonakilty at Beechgrove, 50 units in St Joseph’s Mallow and 38 homes in Kilnagleary, Carrigaline.
In a written report to Council the Authority Director of Housing, Maurice Manning, said he has yet to receive full and final funding approval for the six schemes.
The information was released to Council on the request of Fianna Fail Cllr Seamus McGrath.
The Carrigaline based Cllr condemned the Government for their “snail’s pace” in delivering the affordable units.
As a result he said there is a wide gap in a person’s ability to get on the property ladder, and it needs to be addressed “urgently.”
“Whatever our criticism is in relation to housing policy, when it comes to social housing there is some delivery. It may not be as fast as we want it to be, but there is no delivery when it comes to affordable housing.”
Chief Executive Tim Lucey said the Council can work only at the same pace as national government.
He said once full approval has been provided it will take a minimum of two years before accommodation can be provided.
Fine Gael Cllr Kevin Murphy objected to Cllr McGrath “pouring cold water” on the proposed scheme.
He said the Local Authority had worked with haste to identify the six sites, and the Department reciprocated by approving funds for the highly demanded areas.
Cllr Murphy added “Council should be going cap in hand to get final approval to get the schemes up and running”
Cllr McGrath, however, said he was sorry that Cllr Murphy felt he was being overly critical but “the reality speaks for itself”. He said “as the Chief Executive has highlighted, we are looking at a two year wait in terms of delivery of affordable housing.”
Fianna Fail Cllr Frank O’Flynn said “it’s good news that the six locations have been picked, but it’s disappointing that there are none in Fermoy.”